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Antiochians and the Episcopal Assembly

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by GreekOrthodox, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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  2. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    To read between the lines, Antioch believes all arab parishes in the diaspora should be under their jurisdiction.
     
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    Lord have mercy!
     
  4. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    As I understand it, the issue is around the setting up of a new diocese by the Patriarch of Jerusalem in Antioch's land.

    In 410 at a major council the bishop of Qatar was under Antioch. Then when the Jerusalem patriarchate was made, it was specifically denied to give Jerusalem a major piece of Arabia including Qatar.

    Fast forward to today, when the Jerusalem patriarchate decided to set up a church in Qatar. It's wonderful that they made a church there to spread Christianity. They should do so in accordance with Church rules, and so if possible they should have it run under Antioch. It's an issue because Jerusalem has appointed a bishop for Qatar now, and I can't think of any practical reason for that, unless it wants to take over another territory.

    Antioch has asked its members to temporarily cease working with interchurch groups in order to focus more on this issue. I am not sure it is the best decision, but in any case I recommend this:

    We should on one hand be glad about establishing a new church in Qatar, but should also encourage the Jerusalem patriarchate, which has close relations with the Ecumenical Patriarch, to cooperate with Antioch and have Antioch oversee the new parish if it is at all possible, which I am sure it is.
     
  5. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    There has not been Christianity in Qatar for centuries, its basically illegal religion. The administrative structure within the roman Empire on the periphery changed a number of times, administrative districts were redrawn a few times.. When Jerusalem was elevated to a patriarchate in 450 ad they were given the title "beyond the Jordan", which means the same exact thing as the anthiochan title of, "all the east". Qatar is indeed in the trajectory of Jerusalem and is east of jerusalem while south of Antioch.

    In reality these titles are irrelevant as they only refered up to the boundaries of the empire. Ever since the syrian civil war the Antiochans have been pulling a "constantinople". That is just like Constantinople went into survival mode after the smyrna catastrophe by trying to retain all their flocks in the diaspora , Antioch now finds itself in the same position and its no longer in Her interests to allow her flock in the diaspora go their seperate ways. The only claim antioch has on this tiny embassy church in qatar is that it's in Arab land. This embassy church was established many years ago under the JP without Antioch having any problem with it, that is until a few months ago when it first voiced its displeasure coinciding with the violence in Syria.
     
  6. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Buzu,

    They were disagreeing over this kind of thing even before Chalcedon, which was why Chalcedon made a decision about this:

    The three Palestines are clear: that's the Sinai, Galilee, and the main part around Jerusalem and Gaza. Here is a map of the Roman times:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/The_Roman_Empire_ca_400_AD.png

    Antioch gets the two Phoenicias and Arabia. What does Arabia mean here in this compromise? It can mean the small province of Arabia, covering the area east of the Jordan, or it can mean Arabia in common speech, which was a much larger area.

    Personally I think it means what it does in common speech, because it did not specify just the province. In fact, I assume the Roman empire might claim other parts of the geographic Arabia for the province of Arabia once it conquered them.

    You made a good point referring to the titles. On one hand you have the "Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East." Qatar is certainly in "The East" also called "The Orient".

    On the other hand, you have the “Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan, (or "Arabia beyond the Jordan") Cana of Galilee and Holy Zion”.
    This appears to be an overlapping definition, because they both claim Arabia. In fact, I think it is not so, perhaps. Palestine II does claim area east of the Jordan, and if we call that Arabia, then that part of Palestine II is what the title refers to. (I also remember about how Jesus went to the area "beyond the Jordan". I think this does not mean really far from the Jordan, but a general region on the opposite side of it. Maybe not.)

    So the titles give a broad sense, suggesting Antioch gets the whole East, while Jerusalem gets the part that counts as the Arab region "beyond the Jordan". But more particularly we look at the agreement. In it, Palestine goes to Jerusalem and Arabia goes to Antioch.

    So: Is Qatar in Palestine or Arabia? It's in the geographical area of Arabia, so based on the agreement it should go to Antioch, unless the agreement was only about captured land and not geography. If you are sure that it only refers to captured land, I suppose it counts as a "barbarian land" and goes to the EP.

    It should be mentioned however, that Qatar was at one point taken by the Persians and under their rule it was treated as Antioch's.
     
  7. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Buzu,

    However interesting, it is unfortunate that it is causing a problem nowadays.

    You wrote:
    I am not sure that "all the East" refers only to imperial boundaries, because I believe that eastern Christians from far away continued to be under Antioch, such as those in Iraq.

    It seems more likely to me that we should give precedence to the agreement rather than to the titles, because I see how the titles themselves could be seen as overlapping. The titles both could be that they are Patriarchs of the East, which is true, but their land covers different parts of The East. Jerusalem gets Palestine and Antioch gets Arabia, based on the agreement.

    Nobody could claim that Qatar was part of Palestine, but it is part of Arabia. Wouldn't even Roman geographers match it that way? Granted, the Romans had not captured and joined it to the province of Arabia.
     
  8. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    No, the reason you mentioned an Antiochan bishop in 410 ad but not in 510 ad or after is because those churches became autonomous at that time. This is why the assyrians only count the first 2 ecumenical councils. They eventually broke off communion with Antioch altogether in 433 ad when that See finally accepted the Council of Ephesus.

    In tne 8th century the assyrian monks in and around qatar had a cozy relationship with the JP Monasteries because of pilgrimages they made. This is how the Mar Sabas monastery recieved the syriac copy of the wirings of st Issac.

    What the title, 'all the east' alludes to was the region of tne empire referred to as the 'diocese of the east'. You can wiki to see the exact areas, then see the numerous other names the various regions were further divided into. The problem is many of the regions in the ecclesiastical realm were split with jerusalem, as that City became a patriarchate. Theres a reason why Jerusalem's undisputed historical jurisdiction ends in present day Jordan even though beyond the jordan means it can expand further east.
     
  9. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    The Assyrians were autonomous to Antioch, weren't they?
    Antioch's and Russia's monks should be also cozy with Jerusalem.
    I am just not sure that naming a region limits it to the territory captured.

    The Romans could announce a jurisdiction for Britannia, but it would not limit itself only to captured parts of Britannia, I assume.

    Why wouldn't Jerusalem's jurisdiction go past Jordan? Well, even the province of Arabia given at Chalcedon runs the whole length of the Jordan- even though Palestine is on both sides of the Jordan. In other words, Jerusalem's reach goes east until it hits the province of Arabia, which was said to be given to Antioch.

    I am still open to reconsidering this, however. One nonOrthodox book put in a phrase that at the Ecumenical Council in 553 Arabia was given to Jerusalem's patriarchate? Does that sound right?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  10. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    There were provinces within the empire called arabia . You maybe refering to the Roman province of Arabia Petraea of which Palestina Tertia was carved out of. Then there was Palestina Secundus which when existed seemed to include much of the jurisdiction of Jerusalem. But basically the administrative zoning of districts kept being redrawn.

    What you said above is what I'm saying as well. If Jerusalem jurisdiction is west of the Jordan and if it extends 'beyond the jordan' , it can also lay claim to everything East of the jordan. Which means they have every right as well to have a bishop for the embassy church they started. Antioch doesn't have a case except that the area speaks arabic!

    Overall its silly in that there hasn't been Christianity for centuries in those regions nor will there be as its basically illegal to apostasize from islam.
     
  11. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Dear Buzu,

    I am referring to this one province called Arabia in this map that is not labeled Palestine I, II, or III:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/The_Roman_Empire_ca_400_AD.png

    Based on the map, Jerusalem's land cannot extend very far "beyond the Jordan River."

    Why? Because as it goes eastward, it hits the province of Arabia, which is given to Antioch under the terms of Chalcedon I quoted above.

    It cannot go any farther, and certainly not up to Qatar.


    JERUSALEM --> ~RIVER~ --> Palestine II Province (under Jerusalem) --> Arabia Province (under Antioch) --> Qatar

    It can only get everything east of the Jordan until it stops at the Province of Arabia, because Yes, Arabia is "beyond the Jordan" but Arabia belongs to Antioch.

    Anyway, one can just go by the plain meaning.
    Chalcedon says the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which has Arabia in its full name, gets "Palestine", and Antioch, which already presided over Assyria and Qatar, gets "Arabia."

    And Qatar is in Arabia:
    [​IMG]

    The fact that Rome did not yet conquer all of Arabia doesn't mean Christians living there don't go under that diocese anymore than unconquered Christians in York don't go under the Diocese of Britain.

    Granted, I think Qatar may be closer to conquered Palestine than to the conquered province of "Arabia". But in any case, I think even by the mindset of the time, Palestine is on the Mediterranean and Arabia is the area farther inland where the deserts are.

    So an argument can be made for it to go to Jerusalem, I just don't agree with it.


    1. Originally, Qatar belonged to the Patriarchate of "Antioch and all the East".
    2. Then a new diocese was set up for Jerusalem, calling itself "Arabia beyond the Jordan".
    3. Chalcedon decides that Jerusalem gets Palestine and Antioch gets "Arabia".
    __a. Arabia the province goes up and down the whole Jordan, blocking any claims going farther east to Qatar.
    __b. Arabia the geographic location includes Qatar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  12. buzuxi

    buzuxi Newbie

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  13. buzuxi02

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    I have found the 7th (8th in the greek) session of Chalcedon. It seems 2 years earlier the emperor stripped Antioch of most of its jurisdiction and gave it to Jerusalem. There was much contention over this and the two patriarchs sat down and came to an oral agreemement which was approved at the council; (scroll to page 639)

    http://ixoyc.net/data/fathers/624.pdf


    The question then is how does Jerusalem now have the transjordan? Thats what Arabia seemed to have been. I think the answer lies in the redistricting (for lack of a better word) under Justinian about a century later. As a silver lining atleast these jurisdictional squabbles are as old as the patriarchates themselves, although its nice to see that back then Antioch and Jerusalem can sit down and agree orally and then present it to the entire church for consent.

    Im even more convinced that it only speaks of areas under roman control. The entire back drop of the controversy is how the emperor was stripping jurisdiction and handing it to another, something that would make no sense if it belonged to anothers empire.

    The whole controversy is quite nonsensical regardless. There was absolutely no Orthodox precense in any way shape or form in these areas until the 1960's when foreign workers were given permission to worship in embassy churches.
     
  14. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Hi Buzu,

    The Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem are both Orthodox and therefore I like them both. They both have value. If Jerusalem makes parishes in Antioch's territory it is good to have new parishes. But as far as jurisdiction goes, I understand that the view in Orthodoxy is that we should not have overlapping bishops or territory. For me it is an interesting issue, and I understand that for those two patriarchates it is important.

    For me, it seems like Antioch in general has a better case because Qatar is in Arabia and because Qatar was under the Antiochians at least until 410 AD. This was because it was part of Persia (Sassania?), and that land (Sassania) was under Antioch. As far as I understand, its successor Iran is under Antioch.

    I do sympathize with your view that the titles are contradictory. Antioch is called "of all the East", yet lands later given to Jerusalem are also in "the East."

    I know that on the map Orient is written over northern syria, then under Rome. But I still think "The East" refers to the Middle East, because places like Iraq and Persia were under its rule. And the Assyrian Church of the East, I assume, referred to Iraq, where many of its followers were.
    But like you, I would not focus too much on the titles because they contradict eachother.

    The time when the Christians in Qatar were Orthodox was at least up to the 5th century,
    at least until the controversy with the OOs and Nestorians, who consider themselves still under Antioch jurisdictionally.

    St. Isaac of Nineveh was a 7th century Eastern Orthodox theologian from Qatar and was also known as Isaac of Syria. He was bishop of Nineveh in modern day Iraq
    http://www.stmaximus.org/files/Church_History.pdf
    Isaac of Syria - OrthodoxWiki

    What did you mean about unification by national boundaries?

    Perhaps they did not object 3 years ago is because they hoped that the issue would have resolved since then?

    I sympathize with your discussion about the Americas, which seems much harder to pin down than Qatar. Canonically, only the OCA and Russians have a right to canonical churches there due to being a Russian colony, but I believe the Greeks and Antiochians have set up Churches of their own there. So to follow the canons, they should leave. How can we have Antiochian churches in Alaska and complain about Jerusalem ones in Qatar? So I can see your point about that.
     
  15. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Buzu,

    The council where the emperor gave much land to Jerusalem doesn't count for us because it was the nonChalcedonians' "Robber Council." It counts for Oriental Orthodox, but they still put themselves under Antioch.

    You asked a good question of how Jerusalem gets transjordan. Would you be able to show exactly what was said to belong to Jerusalem according to Justinian?

    Yes, it's nice they could sit down and agree.

    Yes, the emperor was involved in changing jurisdictions, but don't forget that the emperor played a big role in the church at that time, and the theological decisions he presided over affected even dioceses far away.

    I would grant you that "Arabia" might be taken different ways. After all, what else was the name of the province of Bostra? Petra was in geographical Arabia too, yet it was given to Jerusalem.

    Imagine a controversy arose in the 7th century over the desert of "Arabia". Who would get that? The Romans after all marched over "Arabia" all the way to Yemen at one point.

    In my opinion, Gaul is an analogous example.
    Does the bishop of Gaul get Gaul's geographic land outside of the Roman province of "Gaul"? I think the answer would be Yes, despite the fact they were under "barbarians".

    So my opinion from this, Buzu, is that the Patriarch whose land covers Arabia would get Christians who are outside the province but still in that region. After all, the province got its name from the region it was a part of and which Rome still wanted to conquer.

    In general, it is counterproductive for the church to be divided about this, like you are saying. It does have an implication, because even if Christians were rejected from an area, the land should stay under the Patriarch. Otherwise you could have EOs absent from northeastern Turkey due to the Turks or OOs and then the land claimed by Antioch, or you could have Constantinople setting up dioceses in a newly colonized Siberian tundra despite Moscow having claimed it without putting churches there.
     
  16. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    My understanding of the conflict between the Antiochian & Jerusalem Patriarchates is most limited. From what I think I might know is that the Arabic Orthodox Christians have been shabbily treated by many of the hierarchs of the JP for generations. I have heard that many parcels of real estate in Jerusalem owned by the JP,that could have helped the Christian Arabs, were sold off to Israeli real estate interests. The fact that this was done by non Arabs only furthers this misery. There is a current thread on this in OC.net where one may want to weigh their own opinion. I am typing from an android & I do not know how to post links on it.
     
  17. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Lol, Im certainly familiar with the antiochan chearleaders of OC.net.

    If there even was a bishopric (pre-Ephesus) that was loosely connected to Antioch, it really wouldnt matter as at that time Jerusalem was even subserviant to Caesaria.

    It wasnt until archbishop Juvenal that Jerusalem was elevated to a patriarchate. The reward for such a title is an expanded jurisdiction. In 449 the emperor gave jurisdiction to Jerusalem but it was unfair as it stripped most of Antiochs jurisdiction. In 451 they came to an agreement.

    The questions are (atleast for me):

    1. How did Jerusalem get the entire transjordan (Arabia), and how if any does the title "arabia beyond the Jordan" and 'Mother of all the Churches" affect the jurisdictional borders of today. (if it even does)

    2. Does it even matter as both patriarchates have confusing titles and jurisdictions, who are fighting over an area without any christian presence for centuries. (And even these present day churches are simply temporary for the workers and tourists visiting, once the oil drys up so will these churches). The way I see it the argument of 'first come, first serve' works well. Antioch has kuwait as they were invited first and Jerusalem gets qatar as they were invited first.
     
  18. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    To recap:

    I. Titles: Indeterminate
    A. Antioch is the Church "of all the East". But Jerusalem is in the East.
    B. Jerusalem is the Church of "Arabia Beyond the Jordan". But Antioch's claim to "Arabia" blocks it from going very past the Jordan. Baghdad is beyond the Jordan and under Antioch too.

    II. Chalcedon giving "Arabia" to Antioch: Favors Antioch
    A. Antioch and Jerusalem both find historical ownership of "Arabia" crucial.
    B. Arabia in Latin and in the Bible typically refers to Arabia like it does in English.
    C. Chalcedon gave the three provinces of Palestine to Jerusalem. So it could mean the province of Arabia. But the province of Arabia did not have a set eastern border and Rome kept trying to claim the rest of Arabia. The bishop who gets the province of Arabia likely gets the Christians in Arabia in general, just as the bishop of Britannia gets Britannia's Christians.

    III. Chain of Possession: Favors Antioch
    A. Qatar had an Orthodox bishop under Antioch in 410, and there was no agreement that it would switch to Jerusalem.
    B. Qatar's Christians became Oriental and/or Nestorian, but they still considered themselves under Antioch, and continued to have bishops in Qatar, like one in 575. Oriental Orthodox have parishes in Bahrain and Qatar.
    C. St. Isaac of Syria, the 7th century Orthodox bishop of Nineveh was from Qatar and remained closely associated with it.
    D. Antioch remained the Patriarchate for parishes in the Sassanid kingdom, which covered Qatar.
    E. Met. Constantine under Antioch made parishes in neighboring Oman and Bahrain 50 miles from Qatar in the last 15 years. Thus on either side of Qatar there were Antiochian parishes.
    F. 3-4 years ago Jerusalem made a parish in Qatar, but making a new parish does not void previous claims by Antioch.

    IV: Nationality: Weakly Favors Antioch
    A. Qatars are Arabs, like the Patriarchate of Antioch. But this is not a decisive factor, as Jerusalem's parishioners are half Arab themselves and Jerusalem has a Arabic bishop.

    VI: Proximity: Favors Antioch
    Jerusalem recognizes the bishop of Kuwait to be under Antioch, and Qatar is far closer to Kuwait than to Jerusalem, or many other Orthodox sees, for that matter.


    Notes:​

    Antioch's letter comments about the 3 years' stay in Qatar by Jerusalem:
    Considering these factors, Qatar should go to Antioch because it's in Arabia geographically, Orthodox there have been under Antioch at least until the splits with eastern churches, Antioch's parishes included Persia, which covered Qatar, the nonOrthodox still consider themselves under Antioch's domain, it was never explicitly given to Jerusalem although it did belong to Antioch at one point, the nearest agreed-on See belongs to Antioch, and it was surrounded on both sides by Antiochian parishes when Jerusalem moved in.

    The alternative would mean that a bishop's territory did not extend outside Roman control of that territory's province, that Rome did not lay any claim to Qatar for its province of Arabia, if the nonOrthodox of Qatar reunite they would not go under the Patriarchate that they claim to, and if a patriarchate's land becomes vacant for some reason then another patriarchate can claim it based on that fact.

    Not only do the reasons to give it to Antioch make sense, but the alternative is very doubtful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  19. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    While I disagree that Antioch had any presence in the sassanid empire (except when they actually captured byzantine land and definitely not after 410ad) or that there was any Orthodox christian presence (post 431 ad) for that matter, but if it really means that much to them let them have it, not that I have any say of course.


    The Antiochans have had an inferiority complex to the greeks (which plays a minor role in this) so its interesting to know there still remains indigenous native greek christians from damascus in the person of Met. Constantine. Why doesnt the bishop write or meet with Patrick Theros, the U.S. ambassador of Qatar (1995-98) who was the person responsible for inviting the JP to set up church services in Qatar in 1997. He still has a relationship with the parish and knows the emir of Qatar. That would be Antioch's best bet at a swift resolution.

    Obviously the U.S. ambassador didn't know that antioch had jurisdiction in that area, and judging from the letters Antioch has sent out to the other autocephalous churches in protest of this matter, most of them aren't too sure neither and have not taken sides. Thats why Antioch's last resort was to pull out of the conferences, lest they lose those parishes in the diaspora in that far off merger whenever it may come to fruition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
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